The Road to Catastrophe,
to Personal Ruin
The road to catastrophe, the road to personal ruin, the road to a nihilism that prevents one from recalling without any further remorse over its absence—particularly speaking, a desire to feel proper and perhaps even esteemed, as all successful people wish to feel—if you manage accidentally to erase this desire from your heart, to never even think about it, in fact; then perhaps you might see why such a difficult and reckless proposal would be voiced at all. Although this is most likely going to be thought a frail attitude incapable of defense, those who reach this conclusion quickly would be mistaken. . . . Even with a small amount of money received on a regular basis, but for no work of any sort performed, a man can afford to feel somewhat reckless, in disregard toward all forms of politics. One can even take the luxury of making careful pronouncements to be later nearly anonymously aired on public Internet forums, thus committing the crime of free speech.
To remain silent would be like consenting to being buried alive. Although any intelligent man who really believes that he is politically free has cast himself into an illusion. Since I already believe both these ideas, I must somehow reconcile them or be carried away in madness to a an institution for the insane.
I’ve been reading Hume again recently, and of course Hume always makes me skeptical. Makes me take pause, and wonder where my instincts are coming from. Where do they come from? I do not know.
How is it that a man is inspired to think the way that he does? Or a woman the way that she does? The problem of the sexes is the ultimate mystery for me. Shopenhauer once wrote an essay which conveyed a detailed rendering of physical attraction between men and women as a biological mechanism to assure the health of the species, a very German idea. I don’t altogether subscribe to it; and when I do it’s only in very limited ways.
But I don’t wish to talk about German philosophy, much as I might like to. I want to figure out what I’m doing not only this moment but at other times in the remaining years of my life. One does not play the piano for years and then close off the keyboard and walk to another part of the room and never play another note again. I don’t expect that I shall ever stop writing. My other expectations toward a larger audience are quite vague; they’re nothing more than fantasies right now. But I don’t wish to interest a high-brow audience alone. I don’t want just that. I want wider appeal.
Right now it seems ridiculous and useless to go on with . . . with this display. Why not just revert to my former ways of writing in a journal and be done with it? Out of fear of not being happy, of being alone, or just out of fear? Probably the latter; I don’t really believe that Happiness is possible; I don’t even believe that love is really possible for any appreciable length of time. And this is what I’ve experienced throughout my life; it’s not owing to my reading of Hume.